Climate Impacts and Risk Assessment

 ©Bertknot, CC BY-SA 2.0
©Bertknot, CC BY-SA 2.0

Our work focuses on understanding the effects of climate change on livelihood realities and development perspectives of especially vulnerable population groups. Impact and vulnerability assessments provide an important basis for the identification of adaptation requirements as well as analyses of loss and damage. Through assessing the implications of impacts at different levels of warming, we gain a better understanding of the implications of different emission pathways. SIDS and LDCs face particularly great challenges. Their physical exposure and the limited number of available adaptation options as well as adaptive capacity are key determinants of their vulnerability.

Publications

Although effects on labour is one of the most tangible and attributable climate impact, our quantification of these effects is insufficient and based on weak methodologies. Partly, this gap is due to the inability to resolve different impact channels, such as changes in time allocation (labour supply) and slowdown of work (labour productivity). Explicitly resolving those in a multi-model inter-comparison framework can help to improve estimates of the effects of climate change on labour effectiveness.  
In late 2020, Switzerland formally updated its national determined contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement's long-term temperature goal by targeting a higher level of domestic emissions reductions by 2030. This modest goal was defeated in a referendum on June 12, 2021. While the current Swiss government has reiterated its commitment to 50% overall reductions by 2030, implementation now relies on the Federal Council’s 2016 recommendation to achieve a 30% reduction in domestic emissions by 2030, with the remainder to be attained through emissions reductions achieved overseas. But is this 2030 goal enough to put Switzerland on track to achieve its goal of net zero GHG emissions by 2050 and preserve its glaciers?  
The impacts of climate change are affecting human societies today. In parallel, socio-economic development has increased the capacity of countries around the global to adapt to those impacts although substantial challenges remain. Countries' effectiveness in fostering climate resilience will depend on the pace of both developments under different socio-economic and emission pathways. In this study we assess trajectories of adaptation readiness in comparison with the continued emergence of hot days as a proxy for climate change hazards for different emission and socio-economic pathways over the 21st century.  
Climate change has emerged as a growing threat to the European economy, whose economic losses are relevant for global growth. Rising temperatures and worsening extreme events are expected to affect climate-vulnerable sectors. Due to the economic integration within the European Union (EU), these impacts will likely have spillover effects and feedback loops to and from other regions. This study uses spatial econometrics to account for the interdependencies between the subnational EU regions to estimate the future impacts of changes in temperature on sectoral labour productivity under the Paris Agreement. The study confirms the presence of spatial spillover effects of climate change, and finds that observations at the economy-wide level of a non-linear, concave and single-peaked relationship between temperature and productivity do not always hold true at the sectoral level.  
This study, led by scientists from Climate Analytics, an international climate science and policy institute, is first to show that just half a degree of extra warming between 1.5°C and 2°C makes a big difference in terms of heat stress risk posed to Muslims carrying out religious rites in Saudi Arabia during summer, where the mercury frequently climbs over 45°C even now.  

Projects

IMPACT is a cross-cutting, multi-faceted project that aims to strengthen the connections between the scientific assessments of climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to help enable access to finance and help Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) implement concrete projects.  
This project aims to improve the understanding of future risks from water scarcity and food insecurity in particularly vulnerable countries in the Horn of Africa Drylands, and to support community-centered climate adaptation and resilience. It aims to enhancing the climate service capacity in this region and support adaptation policies and communication.  
The EmBARK-project investigates time scales and possible trajectories of socio-economic transformation processes and analyse their relevance as potential barriers to adaptation to climate change. An improved understanding of the temporal dynamics of such barriers is key in developing a more realistic understanding of future climate impacts and for scientifically robust assessment of future climate related loss and damage.  
The "Climate Action Tracker" is an independent science-based assessment, which tracks the emission commitments and actions of countries.  
The Caribbean region is highly exposed to tropical storms, hurricanes, flooding, and naturally induced disasters. These hazards represent a significant risk to the inhabitants and economies of the Caribbean countries. The Climate Risk Adaptation and Insurance in the Caribbean (CRAIC) project assists Caribbean countries in their efforts to increase social resilience and adapt to climate change by incorporating climate risk insurance within a broader framework of disaster risk reduction strategies.  
This project is an extension of the PAS-PNA project in Benin, Senegal and Burkina Faso. In each country, Climate Analytics, together with the national Green Climate Fund (GCF) Accredited Entity, is conducting the pre-feasibility or feasibility studies for selected adaptation projects, providing governments with an evidence-base to support the development of GCF concept notes and funding proposals.